Cover photo for Mary Catherine Collier's Obituary
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1935 Mary Catherine Collier 2024

Mary Catherine Collier

February 6, 1935 — May 9, 2024

Benton

Mary Catherine Tidwell Collier known for her reputation as an excellent quilter and maker of Mexican cuisine entered a host of family and close friends who are in the presence of Jesus Christ on Thursday, May 9. Her desire of dying peacefully was granted after a few days of respite care where her living family members were able to spend time with her assuring their love.  Catherine was born in February of 1935 at Gilliam Dairy in Hot Springs while her parents were working there.  She was the eldest of the three children of Grover Cecil (Arkie) Tidwell and Iva Otto (Mrs. Arkie) Newcomb Tidwell.  Her brother Donald Tidwell as well as her parents preceded her in death.  Larry Tidwell, her younger brother, and his wife Linda currently reside in Kellar, TX.


She grew up in Amity AR where she met the love of her life, Howard Collier and married at a young age (15) in Glenwood at her maternal grandparent’s home when she was visiting Howard in Arkansas after her parents moved out of state to find work.  It has been told that they got married on December 11TH  and both played basketball on December 12TH.  After Howard graduated from Amity High School, they moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico and raised their family there.  Later when jobs played out they returned to Arkansas and lived in Hot Springs and then Benton. After celebrating almost 64 years of marriage, their marriage ended with his death.  During the raising of her children she was an expert housewife and mother in every facet of home building including cooking, sewing and crafts of every imagination from plaster of Paris to oil painting.  Only after her children started furthering their education, she acquired a job working with Charles Smith and Don Hall at Smith Caldwell Drug Store in  downtown Benton and continued for six years.  When long arm quilting machines became popular she invested in a machine and set it up in her home to quilt for the public.  She enjoyed learning how to do complicated quilt piecing and was well known in the central Arkansas area as an expert seamstress and machine quilter.  During her last year due to her declining vision and overall health she lived with her daughter and was eager to receive family and friends to visit as she had the joy of doing while she was able to live at home. She died peacefully after a brief respite stay which lengthened a few days longer due to her decline. She is survived by all of her children Kathy (Owen) Warford of Lonsdale, AR; Tommy (Janet – deceased) Collier, Otty Lou (Mickey) Newcomb, and Michael (Tammy) Collier of Benton, AR.  

 

Her faith in Jesus Christ was very important to her and she was active in her church membership in every city she has lived.  Most recently she was a member of Cross Roads Missionary Baptist Church in Benton, AR but was a member of Center Fork Missionary Baptist Church in Hot Springs, AR and were charter members of Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Carlsbad, NM (started as a mission named Mt. Pisgah) while living in those towns. She served as pianist, Sunday school teacher, VBS coordinator, deacon’s wife who taught young wives of deacons the art of making unleavened bread, and was willing to organize any shower, party or fellowship to bring people together. Music was an avid part of her life that she encouraged through her children and has carried forward to her grandchildren.

 

She thoroughly enjoyed all eleven of her grandchildren by hosting slumber parties for as many as could come and taking them on day trips during summer break.  Many days were spent together which brought the grandchildren closer.  They are Keith Warford, Alan (Stacy) Collier, Russell (Liz) Warford, Anne (Richard) Morgason, Natalie (David) Cunningham, Preston (Ashley) Warford, Mitch Newcomb, Nathaniel Collier, Heather (Andrew) Susky, Samuel Collier, and Seth (Mary) Collier.  As a result of these beautiful unions she was blessed with 18 great grandchildren. Uniquely she was willing to plan holiday celebrations, so it was easier for her children and grandchildren to all come together, for instance on December 23 (identified as Christmas Adam since Adam was created before Eve). These celebrations might end up focusing on cuisine from different countries with and introduction to different foods and customs.  Games were always played.  Uniquely she also made hand crafted Christmas ornaments for each grandchild, their spouses and children for over 40 years.  This tradition had to be passed down to her children when her vision prohibited her from doing the  detailed craft work.  These ornaments are treasured by all of her family.


Services held Tuesday, May 14 at Cross Roads Missionary Baptist Church, 10019 Lily Drive, Benton, AR 72015. Visitation will start at 10:00 AM to precede the service beginning at 11:00 AM.  Dr. Bob Wiegel, Bro Jim Mullins and Dr. Gary Self will be officiating the services.  Keith Warford, Russell Warford, Preston Warford, Alan Collier, Mitch Newcomb, Nathaniel Collier, Samuel Collier, and Seth Collier will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are the ladies from Lydia Grace Sunday School class that Mary attended.  Burial will be held at Ten Mile Cemetery following the celebration service.  

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Cross Road Missionary Baptist Mission Fund or Ten Mile Cemetery.


Services entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home.  Online guestbook:  www.SmithFamilyCares.com.

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Cross Roads Baptist Church

10019 Lily Dr, Benton, AR 72015

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Cross Roads Baptist Church

10019 Lily Dr, Benton, AR 72015

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Burial

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

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